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Authority of Urban Development & Environment

1 of 9Interpolar

German office rasmussen | brunke | sauer sesigned a new administrative building for BSU in Hamburg, Germany. It was an invited competition and they won the first prize ex aequo with three other offices (Sauerbruch Hutton, Behnisch Architects and GAP).

This administrative and commercial building in Wilhelmsburg will house the Authority of Urban Development and Environment (BSU) and reach a DGNB Gold certification.

It is integrated into a greater urban masterplan that aims on linking the central part of the city of Hamburg north of the river Elbe with the southern districts.

The aim of the new building itself is to concentrate the different units of the BSU that are nowadays distributed widespread at different locations in the central city. The building will house around 1400 working places plus additional functions and will cover an area of around 58000 m² in total.

Operating in the boundaries of the strict and dense conditions of the building lot defined by the urban master plan, a three dimensional sculptural building approach, integrating the landscape of the surroundings into the structure, is developed. Therefore it is possible to walk literally through the building without entering it. The strong meandered body of the building is culminating in a massive high point emphasizing the main entrance and functions as a landmark and widely seen symbol of the new BSU.

The monolithic white body of the upper floors seems like floating over the warm coloured ground floor. While the Ground floor, with its public functions is clearly inviting visitors to enter and explore the building the upper body, mainly containing office spaces, acts more diffuse. It is neither totally transparent nor is it a completely introverted. The perception lies in between.

The two-layer facade forms a buffer zone that opens manually and besides serving acoustic requirements it also optimizes the thermal performance during the cold season. Half of the facade modules are equipped with phase transforming material that absorbs thermal energy and releases it when needed.